Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all. Hope this is your best year yet! Yay! \o/

Yesterday morning I woke up, and didn't even realise it was New Years Eve. This week has just been so fragmented and out-of-routine, I had no idea what day it was. Anyways, I hadn't had anything particularly specific planned for my evening.

As it panned out, I played/performed at a small party instead! What a wOOt of a time.

Yesterday afternoon, Matt and I went for a swim at the local pool, just to hang out and relax in the water in what had developed into quite a hot day. He'd rung earlier in the day, basically inviting me to play at a NYE family party with him. Sounded good. Just a relaxed casual party thing, keeping people entertained and up dancing. No biggie.

That's Matt looking very hungover, from a few months ago! lol

Floating about in the pool was very refreshing. Altho we could have floated there all arvo, time was starting to get away on us. Before we knew it the cars were packed with various bits of musical equipment, and we started on our 30 km / 18.5 mile journey to a farm half-way between Bathurst and Lithgow.

We got there at 6pm, and things were already underway. Eventually there were about forty people at this party, various family and friends for someones' birthday as well. It was held in one of those large rambling country houses - albeit a very modern, well-equipped one!

One of Matt's younger cousins, aged about 10-ish, has been learning the drums, so part of why we went was to have a jam with him, just to encourage him and give him a bit of playing experience. He was pretty good for a young bloke. Plus his 13-yo older brother was interested in the bass, so he had a good play for a bit as well.

Our regular drummer, Julian, couldn't make it on such short notice, but it wasn't a huge issue. We just made do with what and who was there. But yeah... helped Matt (especially) to really appreciate how good a solid drummer Julian really is.

We started out of the way in one of the large rooms in the back of the house, just so we could have a jam with this young guy. Eventually the party had kinda evolved towards our end of the house. By 9pm we were set up right in the middle of the main living room... mind you, it was a huge size! My entire townhouse would have fitted into this one room! So yeah, then the party playing really began for me.

It was basically just Matt on electric/acoustic guitar, and myself on bass and singing. The drum kit was set up, and the young bloke would sit in for a bit. Then some other people at the party sat in. One or two of them were rather quite good!

So yeah, we were playing simple party favourites to an appreciative drunken captive audience who wanted to dance all night. Great! Loads of fun!

I took my camera, but totally forgot to get any photos! Pooh!

One of the guys there who ended up playing a bit of bass and drums for a while was someone we'd all seen in a series of funny TV commercials here. If you've ever seen "Barry 'The Cougar' Dawson" in those silly Cougar bourbon ads - it was that guy! Actually - Max doesn't drink! He just did that job as a paid bit of acting, and doesn't even drink the product! Good on him. He's actually a rather-successful martial-Arts instructor in Sydney. And a really happy, friendly, quiet, lovely bloke.

So that was my evenings' brush with 15-minutes of fame! hahahaa

At one point, when Max was on drums, myself on bass, and Matt was playing guitar and singing a song, the room was full of drunken party-goers singing away and dancing, having a great time. We just looked back and forth at each other - and started laughing hysterically! It was all so very silly - but lots of fun. We were there to simply help people have some fun, so that's what we did.

Yes yes... I've been in many various and different live and recording situations in my musical journey... played in venues to audiences raging from three (read "3"! Yes, really... it was even a paying gig! The very next night we played to 500 people! Go figure!) to five thousand... but never where we had drunk 'Uncle Fred' keep coming up and requesting the same song over and over and over again, about 20 times in six hours - even tho we'd already played it for him! hahahahaaa. A seriously hysterical situation to be in. Having happily drunk people singing away right in front of you, while we were set up on the floor.

Actually, later on, we spotted 'Uncle Fred' face-down, sound asleep, sitting up in a chair besides one of the eating tables. Poor 'Uncle Fred'! He sure didn't look to healthy when he got up just before I was leaving to go!

And yes, it was easy playing with different people I've never played with before. You just apply the "KISS" rule - keep it simple, stoopid! Keep the music flowing, simple popular and well-known and loved party 'hits', and keep 'em dancing! We'd play a lot of songs, then we'd just literally start jamming on something, and I'd make something up on the spot to sing. At one point there was a glass display case on a far wall with an imitation Oscar /Academy Award trophy sitting in it... so I started singing this very silly nonsense about "Oscar? Who are you really, what's your name, Oscar?"! Quickly come up with a silly little hook, and get the people to chant it back to you... call-and-response... and it all happens very easily. Happy drunk crowds are easy to keep entertained. Lots of spontaneous fun.

I mean... can you actually believe it? At one point I found myself just on vocals (someone else handling bass duties for a while for a bit of a change), singing happily away and playing harmonica solos in that old Doors' 'standard' "Roadhouse Blues"! Could I remember all the words? Didn't matter. A bit of fun singing and making things up - just so long as you get 'em all singing along on the chorus, no-one is none the wiser! I mean, I kinda looked around, and we had a drummer, a guitarist and a bassplayer - so they just playing the song and I just started singing, trying to do a silly Jim Morrison impression! Good simple fun. Whip out a bit of harp (harmonica) for some variation, and bingo. That's how they used to do it.

By about 2am, the birthday girl and her girlfriends had one microphone between them and were singing "backing vocals" [to be polite! heh heh]. But it didn't matter. Everyone was having a great time, and that's the important thing.

By 3pm I think everyone had been music'd-out, so we stopped playing. (We had actually taken various rest and drink breaks thruout the night, of course! We didn't play straight for like four hours! Good gawd no!). But the party itself didn't stop. Not at all.

I heard the rooster crow (literally!) at 4.30am - and noticed the sky was just beginning to turn light! The small handful of us who were still left looked at each other, shrugged, and agreed it was easier to stay up now rather than go to bed for a few stray hours.

So yeah - I didn't actually go to bed at all until I got home at like 11 the next morning! I haven't had an "all-nighter" for years!

I literally saw-in the New Year with the sunrise. It felt a little cold sitting outside at about 6am, but it didn't take too long for the sunlight to turn the temperature up a few notches.

I'd had a few drinks during my night, but yeah, I was really just drinking in moderation, about one drink an hour (and lots of soft drinks for fluid replacement in between). So I guess that's why I was still standing at 10 am! By then I was simply just feeling very tired... for some strange reason!

But one of the more amazing things was that they ensured I left with a full cooked breakfast inside me! Bacon, eggs, sausages! Wow! I was very grateful and couldn't thank them enough.

And Matt looked like a walking disaster area this morning... gawd alone knows why he started onto the vodka at 5am! Gagh!

Needless to say, I've had a good nap today.

Tomorrow, Mr Hoon has invited me to go sailing with him again. This time he and his family will be launching his new Trailer sailor. This arvo he rang to invite me to dinner with them tomorrow as well! I'm really quite touched (no not 'touched' in that way, you norty person! lol) They've actually booked one of those Ben Chifley Cabins for two nights, and are taking a bit of a mini-family-holiday together. And the invitation extended to coming out sailing again the next day - with my own boat, of course! That's so lovely of them to ask me along like that. I really appreciate it. I won't get in the way, but they're the kind of people who just involve other people and kinda make you feel as tho you're part of the family in a nice way. it's... I'm deeply touched by their friendship.

I love Mr Hoon like a brother. I really do.

Peas be with ewe

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  1. wish i could have listened to you all play. Sounds like a blast! That's more than i did for the new year.
    I woke up just in time to yell Happy New Year and say good night.

    Any New Year resolutions Mal?

  2. Thank you, ladies. it wa s afun, albeit a looooong night! :D
    Mal :)